Why U.S. Electricity Sales Surged In 2018

By Tyler Durden

Submitted by Leonard Hyman and William Tilles of OilPrice.com

Sales of electricity in the U.S. have barely increased despite nine straight years of economic growth. It almost looks as if the conservation ethos for American consumers has finally taken hold. That restraint also applies to large commercial and industrial customers as well. And foreign consumers seemed even less interested in plugging in. A discouraging drip, drip of bad news for the electricity industry.

Well, something happened. For the six months ended June, electric sales to ultimate customers in the U.S. actually rose 3.5 percent. In other industries that’s not a high growth number, but for electric utilities with virtually 100 percent market penetration it constitutes unusually high levels of sales growth. Electric industry participants in recent years have gotten used to zero percent as a normal “growth” rate.

What changed? Sales to residential customers rose a spectacular 7.8 percent, commercial sales rose a solid 2.0 percent and the U.S. industrial sector, assumed growth engine of the economy, purchased 0.1 percent less power.

The first half of the year featured unusually cold weather and a warmer than usual June. Residential customer load is more sensitive to weather. Individuals and families often adjust their A/C …read more

Source:: Zero Hedge

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